Rangers Chat: Media nonsense, Gibraltar and the International Break

Sitting down to talk about anything, and everything, Rangers while we wait for the long, harsh international break to finally end.

Hands up who genuinely enjoys the international break. Oh sure, there’s times when we’d all have our limbs waving wildly in the air at such a suggestion – the chief example is when the team you support is on an awful run of form, has a pileup of injuries, or both. Otherwise, it’s like football has been literally paused with nothing of consequence to fill the gap, Scotland fans will know this more than any other.

Of course, this leaves the sports media in a bit of a dilemma. Lumbered with contractual obligations to pump out content on a regular basis, but with nothing actually happening to talk about, they turn to the dubious art of plucking ideas out of thin air. BS’ing, some may call it.

I read an article today that posited five transfer targets for Rangers based on, of all things, being midfielders who play differently to the midfielders we have now. The list even including Premier League players, as if it wasn’t obviously based entirely on guesswork, and paid no attention to the fact Rangers haven’t exactly been struggling for things like possession (averaging over 65% in all our matches so far this season) or creating chances. Converting chances yes, creating chances nope.

Nonetheless, one thing to catch my eye of note this morning was the very real, and not unthinkable, talk of Gibraltar being removed from the UK’s exemptions for 14 day self-isolation list. This potential news, if likely, would almost certainly directly affect Rangers Europa League tie against the Rock’s own Lincoln Red Imps, on the 17th of this month.

This potential development would be a welcome sign for the Gers though

The talk comes from the fact that Wales already has removed Gibraltar from it’s own list of exclusions, with Scottish minister Humza Yousaf stating Holyrood were monitoring the status of the British overseas territory closely, also.

The match itself was originally a home fixture for Lincoln, but if the government blacklists Gibraltar then most likely it’ll be in a neutral venue. Home ground advantage isn’t exactly a small one, especially now European fixtures are all single leg elimination. It’s a bit unfortunate for the Red Imps, but it is what it is – not every club can let their players flout the law like a certain team in green.

This potential development would be a welcome sign for the Gers though, believe me. Celtic can’t exactly blame the state of the pitch, though they tried, when Lincoln bested them 1-0 in the Champions League a few years back – but it definitely contributed. Certainly, at the very least, it’s a pitch that every single one of the Red Imps is used to playing on, as even away matches are held there, it’s basically the only ground in Gibraltar.

It’s hard to find any good news in current events, but that would definitely fall under the category of silver lining for me. In any case, we continue the international break, checking continually the calendar and fixture list waiting for the real football to come back. Let’s hope the form continues thereafter, taking us to continued success at home and abroad.